Jake's exchange experience

Name of exchange program:

Umea University Education Short–Term Program
21 January – 22 February, 2013

The unit of study which is completed at the University is:
Teaching and Learning in an International Context (equivalent to 6 credit points)

– The course consists of one week's theory and information about the Swedish school system, three weeks practical school–based experience in a school of our choice (I have chosen an upper secondary high school with students of ages 16–19) and a final week of theory and seminars.
– Assessment includes:
a) Reflective journal
b) Short oral presentation
c) Essay (2500 words)

– This unit of study has been approved by the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, and will replace an Education 3 option available in the 5th year of the combined degree (therefore, reduced study load in semester 1, year 5).

– I received a $2000 Australian Government STMP Short–term Mobility Program mobility subsidy (scholarship), to cover the cost of flights/accommodation.

– I was permitted to take out a HECS loan to help cover the cost of the exchange.

Place of exchange program:

Umea University, Sweden which is 600km North of Stockholm and 400km south of the Arctic Circle. Throughout January and February (the time of the exchange is Winter in Sweden), Umea experiences average temperatures of –17 degrees centigrade with fours of daylight each day.

Duration of exchange program:

5 weeks: including study and professional experience

How did you apply and qualify for the exchange program:

All education students offered to apply through the International Exchange Short–Term program through the International Office at the University of Sydney.

Application included an essay on how this experience would benefit us a student and a pre–service teacher and why we were interested in the program.

Successful applicants were then asked to an interview conducted by the International Office.

Selected by interview panel based on Weighted Average Mark (WAM), essay and interview result.

What will you be doing on the exchange, i.e. attending conferences, seminars, meeting VIPs etc:

Seminars with students from Australia, Germany and other European Universities (about 25 students have been chosen across Universities worldwide)

Professional Experience in a chosen school teaching students of 16–19 years of age in mathematics, science (biology) and Australian culture.

Presentation to education students (as an ambassador for the University of Sydney) in the host country on Australia's education system in comparison to the Swedish education system


An image of the Northern lights in winter from the University

The Northern Lights during winter